Maybe you've had one. A boss who's a likable, funny, generous, and all-around lovely human, but who is...a terrible boss. Unreliable. Inconsistent. Disorganized. In short, a nightmare.
Outside Voices - ''Working Girl'' aka Karen Burns
The qualities that make people charming and fun are not the same qualities that make them good bosses. In fact, it's a lot harder to be a good boss than to be a nice person. Why? Because a good boss is a predictable, sane, and organized human being who can handle power with grace and humility.
That ain't just human. That's superhuman.
More ways that good bosses are superhuman:Good bosses make their expectations clear.Good bosses distribute the workload fairly.Good bosses schedule the workload sanely.Good bosses give you the tools you need to do your job and then let you do it.Good bosses keep their promises.Good bosses back you up, protecting you from those who want to harm your interests.Good bosses give you credit for your successes, and tell others about them, too.Good bosses take the blame for your mistakes, and help you avoid mistakes in the future.Good bosses let you know how you're doing.Good bosses help you achieve your career (and maybe even life) goals.
That's a lot to ask of a human. But we ask it of a boss. So if you have one who does most of these things, most of the time, count yourself lucky.
Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009. She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com.